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Hard-Hitting New Advert Warns of Consequences of Leaving Dogs in Cars

23 June 2015

UK - A coalition of animal welfare charities and the police have launched a hard hitting national campaign, warning people of the devastating consequences of leaving dogs in hot cars and urging people to dial 999 if they see an animal in distress.

The organisations include RSPCA, The British Veterinary Association (BVA), National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, The Mayhew Animal Home, PDSA, Wood Green The Animals Charity and the National Animal Welfare Trust.

For the campaign, the organisations have recreated a harrowing real life incident, where a couple who had been shopping returned to find their dog had died from the heat.

“Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen to them or their much loved dog, yet every year many people still gamble with dog’s lives and every summer dogs die in hot cars,” says RSPCA campaigner Violet Owens.

“Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they are parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.

“While not every dog who is put in this position will die, they are likely at the very least to experience distress, discomfort and anxiety. 

“Just put yourself in their position and ask yourself how you’d feel about being trapped in a hot car, how unpleasant and frightening it would be.”

Recent British Veterinary Association research has shown nearly half of vets (48 per cent) questioned treated animals for conditions related to hot weather during Summer 2014 - the vast majority of which were dogs.

Each year the RSPCA and the police receive thousands of calls concerning dogs trapped inside cars on a warm day. This poses a serious risk to dog welfare and many dogs still die each year.

It can become unbearably hot inside a car on a sunny day. When it’s just 22 degrees outside, a car can reach a staggering 47 degrees in an hour.

Dogs can’t cool down in the same way humans can so leaving a window open or parking in the shade will not keep the car cool enough and dogs may still suffer.

Under the Animal Welfare Act owners have a duty of care towards their animals to protect their welfare needs and prevent suffering which includes not exposing them to extremes of temperature. If a dog is left in a car on a warm day and suffers the owners could be at risk of prosecution.

The coalition also believe that retailers, venues and car parks have a duty to ensure that when animals are on their premises, their welfare is being protected and if not, action is taken. It is important to have clear procedures in place and clear information for their visitors reminding them of the risks of leaving any animal in a car.

The NPCC (National Police Chiefs Council) have thrown their weight behind the campaign.

“NPCC wholeheartedly support this campaign. Causing unnecessary suffering to an animal is an offence and the police take this issue very seriously,” says temporary Chief Constable Gareth Wilson - who is the NPCC’s national lead for police dogs.

ThePetSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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